A pre-conditioning exercise can provide performance improvements for athletes in certain competitive situations. The effect is known as post-activation potentiation. Can caffeine enhance this improvement? A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition put the world’s most popular stimulant to the test.
Researchers had 12 professional male soccer players perform plyometric exercises and sled pulls an hour after consuming 5 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight. On another occasion, they received a placebo. Caffeine improved countermovement jump performance 5.07%, 5.75% and 5.40% one, three and five minutes after the pre-conditioning exercise. Jump height only increased at the 3-minute mark (4.95%) with placebo.